YAK Shopping Cart WordPress Plugin Review

Amongst the other e-commerce plugins I have reviewed such eShop and WP e-Commerce, YAK Shopping Cart has come to my attention and the author Jason R Briggs describes the plugin as follows:

YAK is an open source, shopping cart plugin for WordPress. It associates products with weblog entries, so the post ID also becomes the product code. It supports both pages and posts as products, handles different types of product through categories, and provides customisable purchase options (cheque or deposit, basic credit card form, standard PayPal integration, PayPal Payments Pro, and Authorize.net).

Therefore I was interested in testing to see how it would compare to the other plugins I’ve tried. So let’s get straight into the pros and cons of this plugin.

THE PROS

Includes Sales Reports And Graphs

YAK shopping Cart comes with a Sale Report option under the Tools menu. In comparison to other plugins it is definitely a positive with more reporting available to see sales progress. The reports in this plugin are:

o Best sellers for the year o Best sellers for the montho A simple graph to see the sales for the month

A Good Range Of Payment Options Available

YAK Shopping Cart has many payment options readily available and it’s built into the plugin. Unlike other e-commerce plugins which are limited or require you to purchase additional payment gateways, YAK covers a majority of them. This plugin offers:

o Manual Credit Card Processingo Credit on Accounts Receivableo Authorize.neto Paypal and Paypal Proo Google Checkout

As long as you have an account with the above payment merchants, it’s not too hard to link your shopping cart to them. Though, I’ve noticed they are still lacking payment options such as cash, cheque / money order and cash on delivery. Also YAK does offer a secure SSL connection for all of the above payments.

THE CONS

Documentation And Help Is Hard To FindI found the plugin quite easy to install but found it very hard to navigate through YAK’s administration panel. It is partly due to a lack of documentation on how to use this plugin. Without documentation most people would struggle to use YAK and would not find it to be user friendly. Additionally I was very surprised to find I had to pay for a handbook to get the documentation, giving the impression the plugin was designed solely to make money not from usage but documentation. I would have rather paid for a plugin with documentation than be given a plugin that you have to waste time figuring how to use it yourself.

Lack Of Functionality For Products

After setting up a product in a post and linking it to YAK I’ve found it to be really basic and lacking a lot of functionality. There are no fields to insert product images. It was not easy to find the fields for obvious product attributes such as weight and quantity. I felt lost when trying to add products.

Not User Friendly And Lack Of Design On The Front End

As I have mentioned already without documentation a user has to spend time working out how this plugin works. What makes it worst is that each section in YAK’s administration is not self explanatory. At first after installing the plugin I went to find a menu called YAK, but after realising there was nothing there I found it had been added to the Tools menu. It added 3 new links: Orders, Products and Sales Reports. I think the developers at YAK thought I could work out how to use this, but they were wrong. It made more frustrated!

To mention, there is a YAK link under Settings which does allow you to change the options for Basic, Products, Download, Payment, Special, Advanced, Shipping, Promotions. It did alleviate some of my frustration when I found this, but I still couldn’t see much on the front end. As you can see, a very poorly designed plugin and lack of user friendliness on both the front end and administration.

Conclusion

I decided to let this plugin go as I had spent over 3 hours just understanding how the plugin could fit into a WordPress blog. Overall there is a lack of user-friendliness and without the user manual it is very difficult to work out yourself. For users who want something simple and a shopping cart that works straight away, YAK is definitely not your solution. I would go back to using WP e-Commerce or eShop any day.

My rating for this plugin is 1 out of 5 stars.

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